Category Archives: beauty

It’s not just genes that affect aging!

I put up a video a while back addressing how processed foods age us by way of inflammation and a few people commented  about my genes… Thanks a ton for saying nice things re my skin, but please know genes are only part of the equation.

First off,  I’ve never done hardcore drugs, or given birth… two things that age a body for very different reasons, I use sunblock and more importantly,  when I quit cig’s and started eating natural foods I noticed a huge difference in quality of facial skin.

Personally, I think folks say I look younger than my years because everyone else in Hollywood is lying about their age. That said, quality of food, hydration,  exercise, healthy gut bacteria, mood etc all factor into feeling good in your body.

In terms of skin care, most of my life I’ve washed my face with whatever was handy,  no moisturizer, no fancy serums or fussy regimes.  My formerly oily skin,  now more combo to dry,  is still prone to zits and def has fine and not so fine lines, so putting a little more thought in is required.

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These days I use a natural Mario Badescu face wash followed with Tretinoin, one of the few pharmaceutical products in my repertoire . Save $ and nix crazy expensive brands or the use of fillers & botox etc (which I’ve never tried cause.. weird.) and check it out.

It’s the  generic form of products like Retin-A and a vitamin A derivative  developed to combat acne with the handy side effect of softening fine lines and stimulating collagen growth.

Basically it sloughs  off dead cells and helps plump skin. I’ve tried natural vitamin A creams and they don’t work as well on zits or fine lines, so while it’s a bummer this is not an organic natural product,  it gets two thumbs up from me as it works well, though direct sun can cause skin irritation and some people get all peely from it in the beginning, my skin tolerates it well.

A dermo or family doc can fill a prescription for you and if you tell ’em it’s for acne insurance is more likely to cover.  I get the generic and use the lowest strength.  I’ve paid anywhere from $6-$35 a tube, which lasts about 4-6 months. I think that’s reasonable in a world of $300 eye creams,  don’t sleep on the affordable stuff.

Lastly, as far as feeling & looking good at any age, and this is maybe because my skeletal frame is small,  I personally find keeping my weight down helpful to feeling good in my body and keeping my skin looking its best.  Since I’ve gained 10lbs + after finding my boyfriend, the next post’s gonna be on how I’m going to get the weight off and I hope you’ll consider joining me in losing ten if you’re not fitting in your fav pants either. Tweet me if you wanna lose 10 too! Rachel

 

 

Products My Natural Hair Loves

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 Hello!
There’s tons of great sites dedicated to naturally curly hair,  this is not going to be one but… over the years  I’ve been asked by a few to do a Q&A type thing but never did, probably because I was  having a bad hair day.
A couple of years ago I over dosed my hair on protein, too much heat & hard water. It split like crazy way up the shaft… yet again, le sigh.
Here’s a wee bit of what helped get some length and body back to my fine 3c hair.
Shout out to my stylist Valerie Harrell and to you, natural hair bloggers! THANK YOU, you’ve all helped paved the way for natural hair acceptance!
 Rachel.
P.S. No one is paying me to say nice things (or not, we’ll get to you some day not so Living Proof) about their products.


 
Some things I do & a few leave ins I LOVE.
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  •  If you must color your hair (oh, and I must) find a skilled master colorist! It’s not always the most expensive person, I’m talking about the person who loves hair,  mixes color like an artist & knows how much bleach your kind of hair strand can handle. For example I’m a low volume demi permanent kinda girl.
  • “Treat your hair like a fine silk shirt”- my colorist Valerie Harrell. Meaning curly hair is delicate &  ends can be years old so  like a  fabric it’ll fray without special care. Even the way I handled my hair in general when pushing it forward or backwards, fluffing etc, was too rough she said.
  • I massage or rub my scalp a lot. Massaging helps stimulate  hair follicles exponentially by bringing blood to the scalp  & it doesn’t cost any $.
  • I stopped getting trims about 6-8 months ago. Now when there’s a bad split or knot I dry trim the strand right away otherwise it’ll take down the surrounding hairs.  If you’re even a little ocd this might not be a great idea for you, some people can’t stop cutting and that’s no bueno.
  • If my hair feels lifeless, limp, not dry, but not happy… It needs protein for structure, but this is only every few weeks followed up w/ a moisturizing conditioner under a dryer.

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  • Weirdly brittle  means I  probably need  a  clarifying shampoo to get rid of silicones and definitely a moisture deep treatment after, under dryer. My hair can get moisture parched quite quickly.
  • Valerie my hairdresser says conditioner can’t really get in the strand w/o sitting under heat. I hate sitting under one at home but I do it cause she’s right.
  •   I read product labels because it’ll say ‘moisture’ on the front but will have wheat or milk protein with silicone for the main ingredients.  Those don’t give moisture & end up just another expensive shaving cream.
  • I like cider rinses & a blast of cool water to seal, but leave ins  that are not too heavy on the oil are key with my kind of curl.
  • Silicones ~ Hair takes a beating under L.A. sun & actress styling. The right silicones in quality products help heat protect my ends to retain length and seal in  moisture.
  • When my hair feels super porous, I’ll break out the old school Roux Porosity Control Corrector and Conditioner. I used  it once in a while in the nineties, forgot about till this year. It’s weird and not at all organic but my hair loves it every three to four weeks.
  • The ‘new trend’ of not shampooing isn’t new. in my late teens after my one & only relaxer wore out i realized just wetting my hair & putting more conditioner worked great for about 2 weeks. When I lived In NYC, and my hair liked more protein, I’d mix olive oil in with Aubrey organics GPB conditioner while wet, then more while it was drying. GBP is a great reg conditioner & leave in if your hair likes it.
  • Post on my fav  deep conditioners coming up.
  • If I didn’t stretch out my curls I’d look like Little Orphan Annie, the white one, not the black one, Q’s curls are on point! I don’t use heat without 2-4.5 layers of product on the ends. I usually air dry then skim my hair with a flat iron and more product on med to stretch. I totally need to get  a waver.

MY HAIR LOVES…
featured x-2653Leave ins!

CASTOR OIL
COLD PRESSED hexane free castor oil is best for my sensitive dry scalp, it’s a great emollient for skin too
Castor oil is all the rage for good reason, it’s been around for thousands of years & is a staple in beauty  & hair products.  Buy your own & add to cheaper conditioners for a boost!  A huge bottle is about $9 and not sticky like  glycerin. I use it on my face!
 My fine 3c curls get weighed down easily, Castor is one the only oils/butters I can use on dry or wet hair, so two thumbs up.

 DARSHANA HAIR OIL
A great  silicone free blend of oils, pricey at $50, but lasts forever.  I saturate my  dry hair a few hours or overnight before a wash & have seen a nice change. I don’t use it for styling or as leave in,  too heavy, wet or dry…  but if your hair’s thicker than mine (and it can’t not be) it’ll probably work great as an all round.
Straight coconut oil or anything with too much protein can make my hair brittle and break off.

 MILK SHAKE INCREDIBLE MILK LEAVE IN W/ MARU MARU
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I tried to keep my products 100% natural for a while, but ultimately the hair wants what the hair wants, and my hair loves this stuff
 I use whatever stops my fine hair from breaking. This product  has a mix of silicone & natural oils  including something called  Maru Maru butter.  I’d love to find some raw   maru to play with, but butters alone usually make my locks look greasy & flat.  My bottle seems to go fast, so it’s a tad pricey at $20, but hey, we’re not into Kerastase  territory, so win win, I say. Plus  I color the heck out of my fine hair so a good leave in that works on already dry hair is a find. My hair likes this a zillion times more than It’s a Ten btw. I’m careful not to get silicone products on my face. I break out from make up, like bb creams with dimethicone etc.
“I use silicones in arid climates, but can go for more natural products like glycerin based leave ins in humidity, like New York City.”

AUBREY ORGANICS PRIMROSE TANGLE-GO LEAVE IN
I’ve used Aubrey products off and on since college!
Glycerin based  all natural mist refresher for wet or dry , works great in Los Angeles in winter, but not during the super dry summer. Great all year round on east coast.  Glycerin, thou art fickle. Yes, I know it’s easy enough to make your own spray, but I’ve never nailed the ratio right like Aubrey, under $10.

Moroccanoil hydrating styling creme leave in
us.can_hydratingstylingcream_320x304_2.14This works like a light moisturizing gel that doesn’t turn my hair into weird spaghetti curls
This works great on wet hair to set curls, dry to refresh. I don’t use any other products from this line, but my curls LOVE this stuff. Pricey at around $30, but it’s your hair!